Click on the questions to expand the answers.
How do I find out if I qualify?
How much does it cost to open a Hounds Town USA?
The average initial investment to open a Hounds Town USA is between $339,300 – $628,500. This is significantly lower (40%) than other major doggy daycare franchise companies.
How do you keep your buildout costs so low compared to other doggie daycares?
Most other systems are so expensive for three reasons:
1) They are building more intricate retail and product displays
2) They are making Franchise Owners use prefabricated kennels and other structures that cost thousands of dollars each, and
3) The franchise is charging a significant fee for the initial build-out. We do not do any of these things.
The materials we use, coupled with the basic layout and minimal build out requirements, make it very cost-effective. For example, we do not require Franchise Owners to use prefabricated kennels that cost thousands of dollars each; instead they are built using 2x4s, PVC, and materials that can be found at Home Depot, for much less of a cost. Our fencing system for play groups is also built using PVC. Our layout, just like our business model, is very simple.
How much can I make?
In 2020, even after the setbacks all businesses suffered during the global pandemic, our flagship location still generated $207,711.19 in net profit.*
Complete our brief, Confidential Questionnaire HERE. Afterwards, if you qualify to move forward in the process, you will get access to our Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), which contains detailed financial statements and performance of our Franchise Owners.
*Refer to 2021 Franchise Disclosure Document- Item 19 Table 3A
What is the Hounds Town USA franchise fee?
$49,000 for a single unit, which is included in the total initial investment range. We also offer discounted multi-unit franchise fees to select candidates.
How do I find real estate for my new Hounds Town USA location?
Our real estate Team helps you find the ideal location by connecting you with dependable, local agents who know the area inside and out — as well as the specifications for a Hounds Town.
During the process, the real estate Team guides you through site surveys, helps with letters of intent for landlords, and helps negotiate the lease to get the best deal for you.
Once you’ve got your location, our construction team will get started with a design layout and our founder, Mike, will do a final walkthrough of the site to make sure you’re set up to succeed right out of the gate.
What kind of franchise owner support is provided?
- Real estate selection
- Initial training
- Ongoing operational support
- Marketing support
- Accounting and financial coaching
- Annual meetings
- Periodic site visits
Find out more about our Franchise Support Team HERE.
How involved do I need to be in the day-to-day operations of running a Hounds Town location?
Our Franchise Owners can be involved in daily operations as much or as little as they want! We offer business models for both Owner/Operator and Semi-Absentee Franchise Owners. Some of our Franchise Owners are more interested in working on the business vs. in the business, and prefer to concentrate on growing their empire while trusted management staff handles the day-to-day stuff.
Additionally, a number of our Franchise Owners continue to work at their full-time careers after investing in a Hounds Town franchise. Our Semi-Absentee model gives these individuals the ability to pursue their personal passions and maintain a healthy work-life balance while successfully overseeing their investment.
It typically takes new Franchise Owners about 3-4 months to get a General Manager up and running, and then they can scale back to a Semi-Absentee Role. Semi-Absentee Owners typically work about 2-3 hours per day remotely and are required to hire a General Manager to handle daily operations at their Hounds Town location.
Where do Hounds Town locations work best?
For 20 years, we have developed a blueprint for success based on store layout and location.
Hounds Town thrives in industrial, light industrial, or commercial areas within 5-7 minutes of main roadways. Our core customer demographics are people traveling toward city centers to go to work and dropping their dog off on the way.
What is the percentage breakdown for the doggie daycare / overnight boarding / grooming/ retail / pet taxi revenue streams?
This varies per location, but typically doggie daycare is the top revenue generator at about 45%, followed closely by overnight boarding. Grooming, retail, and pet taxi make up the remainder of the revenue; the percentage of revenue for these services vary by location.
How is Hounds Town able to allow all ages, sizes, and breeds of dogs and still ensure that they won't have issues with other dogs?
We do not discriminate against new doggie customers based on age, breed, or ability. However, we do provide a quick temperament test before grouping dogs into doggie daycare packs in order to match them with dogs of similar sizes and activity levels, and to ensure they will not have aggression issues with other dogs.
Our founder, Mike Gould, is a canine behavior expert, one of the founding members of NYPD’s K-9 program, and has over 40 years of experience, honing an approach that is deeply rooted in his understanding of dog psychology and pet behavior.
Are there ongoing fees?
Yes, to ensure the success of the brand overall, as well as each individual, Franchise Owners pay a 6% royalty fee, a 2% brand fund fee, and have a local ad requirement of $2,800 per month.
The local ad fee toward marketing efforts and other expenses incurred to promote the brand for the benefit of all. Franchise Owners will receive extensive marketing support from our team of experts for the entire time they are an Owner. This includes location-specific digital marketing and social media marketing to help your business grow.
How long will it take to get my first store open?
There are a number of variables here, including type of store, the length of the lease negotiation process and permitting processes, but on average it takes about 9-12 months from the date the franchise is awarded to when the doors first open.
How many employees will I need to run my location?
The simplicity of the Hounds Town model allows most Franchise Owners to operate their location with an average of 6-8 staff members total (3-4 per shift).
Each shift consists of 1 shift leader and 1-2 kennel attendants. We aim for a 15:1 dog-to-human ratio so we can staff appropriately and keep payroll low.
Do I need prior experience with dogs?
You do not. We are the best in the biz when it comes to dog behavioral training. We have almost 40 years of experience, and our founder Mike is a true dog behavior pioneer.
Our Franchise Owners reap the benefits of this experience with in-depth training, where you will learn all you need to know about working with dogs and running your location successfully.
What skill sets or traits do I need to own a Hounds Town USA franchise?
The business model helps people of all kinds of backgrounds be successful! You don’t need a heavy business background or a background with dog training. But we find the most successful Franchise Owners:
- Love to have fun and don’t take themselves too seriously
- Do have at least some kind of background in sales or management
- Enjoy interacting with people every day
- Are passionate about making an impact on their community
I don't know anything about construction. How does the construction process go?
Our construction manager starts by doing a CAD design layout specific to your facility and then hires a contractor and architect. The construction manager oversees the project and visits the location 5 times during different phases of the build out to ensure quality control and make sure our timeline is being met.
How much marketing experience do I need?
You don’t need to know anything about marketing to own a Hounds Town franchise. Our team will work with you to implement effective marketing strategies and cutting-edge technologies that start right when you sign a lease. This includes doing all the initial setup of your social media pages, as well as ongoing support for digital marketing and branded content.
Do I need dog training or handling experience?
No. The Hounds Town corporate team will teach you and your staff everything you need to know about caring for and understanding dogs, including performing a dog temperament evaluation, reading a dog’s body language, and grouping dogs into packs.
Our proprietary methods developed by canine expert and Hounds Town USA Founder Mike Gould provide Franchise Owners the necessary tools and skills so dogs can play in a safe and natural pack environment.
I have never run a business before, will that be a challenge?
Not with the training and support you’ll receive from us! At Hounds Town we strive to keep everything very simple.
Our model is driven by processes and methods that we’ve perfected over 20 years of running a doggie daycare and overnight boarding facility, combined with Mike’s 40-plus years of canine management experience. We will teach you everything you need to know in order to successfully run your Hounds Town business. When YOU succeed, WE succeed!
What will my average day look like?
This depends on whether you choose to be in the business: Actively running it yourself, or operating more as a semi-absentee owner. Here’s how both work:
You will usually be present at the store 6-8 hours per day initially. You will be interacting with customers, using the POS system and overseeing your staff, who will be taking care of all dog needs such as grouping, feeding and grooming.
As a Semi-Absentee Owner you will be responsible for overseeing the daily operations of the business. You will hire and manage staff, schedule employees, manage payroll, oversee marketing and social media and order supplies, but will not necessarily be in the location everyday to accomplish these tasks.
How does your marketing team help Franchise Owners attract new customers?
For starters, we have national brand recognition and a great reputation — a huge advantage of opening a franchise vs. your own small business.
Our dedicated Brand Director, Corey Packer, works with Franchise Owners to set up and run all social media pages so customers have up-to-the-minute information on their favorite Hounds Town location. Corey also assists Franchise Owners with generating new business and retaining existing customers through the following channels:
- Brand awareness marketing campaign 6 months prior to opening
- Using paid ads, local and organic SEO, and local advertising in your community
- Creating branded content daily
- Overseeing public relations
- Hosting dog-related content from our podcast, Dish on Dogs
How has COVID-19 impacted business at existing Hounds Town locations?
Hounds Town is actually thriving right now! We are happy to report that we have been busier than ever, and that COVID-19 hasn’t slowed us down one bit. Current Hounds Town USA locations are at capacity, with customers on a waiting list for an available spot for their dogs, We even opened two brand new locations during the height of the pandemic, both of which opened to more new customers than any other location in Hounds Town history!
This overwhelming demand is for a few reasons:
1.) Many people adopted puppies during COVID-19
2.) The work-from-home culture that many of our customers had to adopt following COVID-19 shutdowns has shed light on how much exercise and attention dogs need during the day. For customers who are having a hard time getting work done with their fur kids at home, Hounds Town is a perfect solution!
Do I need to be a dog fanatic to own a Hounds Town USA franchise?
While having a passion for dogs certainly doesn’t hurt, you do not necessarily need to be “dog obsessed” to be a successful Hounds Town Franchise Owner. If you choose to invest on a Semi-Absentee basis, you’ll have a General Manager in the facility running the day-to-day operations, so you will rarely ever even need to step foot in the building! It is more important that you have a strong business acumen and leadership capabilities, and will follow our proven methods.
How can I be sure my territory is protected against another Hounds Town franchise being built in the same region?
Our territory protection agreement encompasses a minimum of 150,000 people for one territory. If you choose to invest in multiple franchise units, we will increase that territory protection for you depending on the number of franchise units you purchase. This will be determined by our Executive Team.
How are Hounds Town USA locations set up?
Our locations are typically between 4,000-7,000 square feet. We find that spending money on marketing rather than real estate has had the greatest impact on our Franchise Owners’ bottom line. For this reason, we prescribe minimal buildout for our town-themed facilities. Our locations include a reception area, office space, play areas, grooming space, boarding houses, and 6-8 luxury suites.
The town-themed facades are also fun, recognizable, and add to the warm feeling of Hounds Town USA (compared to cold, unappealing kennels).
Do you require an outdoor space? If so, how large is the outdoor space?
While an outdoor space is preferred, it is not required. We do have one location that does not have an outdoor space. Our outdoor space ranges depending on location — it can be anywhere from 200 square feet to over 2,000 square feet.
I am passionate about the welfare of animals, especially dogs, and want to use my business as a platform for advocacy and awareness in my community. Will Hounds Town allow me to achieve this goal?
Absolutely! We are committed to helping dogs live their best lives, and welcome Franchise Owners who share our passion for advocating for animal rights in their communities. Our non-profit organization, Hounds Town Charities, helps raise money and drive adoption for local shelters.
Our Fresh Air Fund sponsors shelter pets in a free, open environment where they can run and play to their hearts’ content. We are always looking for like-minded people who can help us bring awareness to pet welfare issues in their neighborhoods.
Other than daycare, overnight boarding, grooming, and pet taxi, are there any additional revenue streams I can add to my Hounds Town location?
In addition to our standard services available at every Hounds Town, Franchise Owners also have the option to add veterinary care, cat care, expanded retail, educational classes and mobile grooming to their location, ensuring each owner is satisfied with the revenue they are earning.
What are the backgrounds of some of your most successful Owners?
Our Owners come from all different backgrounds and some of them were even previous Hounds Town USA customers! As examples, medical sales representatives, hotels/hospitality/restaurant industry workers, animal health workers, nurses, corporate sales/finance, fire fighters, EMTs, veterans, pilots, elementary school teachers, social workers, and attorneys just to name a few!
What do your temperament evaluations look like?
The evaluation process sounds like a big grandiose affair, but it’s actually pretty simple. A trained member of the staff will introduce the customer’s dog to one of our resident dogs to ensure he/she is ready to play and a good fit for our interactive environment. These evaluations are done at no cost and scheduled in 30-minute time slots (but this usually takes less than a minute). We just want to ensure the dog doesn’t show any overt signs of aggression. This is all taught during training. Example video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZvgqG7IruBA
How many dogs can a typical Hounds Town USA location handle?
This depends on the size of the location as well as the size of the dogs (100 chihuahuas is not the same as 100 german shepherds!) The average is between 75-110 dogs, all things considered.
How many dogs that get evaluations become Hounds Town customers?
96%! This is why new dog evaluations are so important.
What is the difference between Hounds Town USA and mom & pop doggie daycares?
Here at Hounds Town USA, we have unrivaled canine expertise that was created by our Founder Michael S. Gould. Michael has almost 40 years of direct canine experience that he passes along to all new Hounds Town USA Owners. By joining Hounds Town USA you will be provided training and a proven business model that is easy to replicate across the US. This expertise is evident at each Hounds Town USA in how we’ve modeled our concept after childcare solutions rather than other doggie daycare options.
What are your staffed hours?
We have employees on location from about 6 or 7 a.m. to about 7 or 8 p.m. Hours are different on Sundays because we are open from 11 a.m to 1 p.m. for pick up and drop off. We need two people on staff at all times.
We close daily from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. for a shift change and to save on unnecessary labor costs. We do not require employees to be there overnight as the dogs are sleeping and we have security cameras. It is just unnecessary.
Do you have to have someone be at the facility at night to watch the dogs sleeping?
No we don’t have people sleep at the facility to watch the dogs that are staying overnight. The reason behind that is dogs are like humans in the fact that they have sleeping habits and if a human is checking on them every so often it will disrupt their sleeping habits and not get a good night sleep which dogs do need.
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
Fill out our confidential questionnaire to get access to:
Our Franchise Development Director to personally guide you through our Education Process and answer any questions you have about owning a Hounds Town USA Franchise.
Our Franchise Disclosure Document: 40 pages of the important stuff!
More Detailed Financials including historical sales performance of all our locations
The Hounds Town Franchise Owners! You’ll be able to hear directly from the Franchise Owners more about how they made the decision to own their own Hounds Town USA locations.
Once we’ve reviewed your completed application, we will be in touch immediately after to start unlocking the steps above!